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science, “The Stranger,' but from the want of workmen and printing materials at the time, they had to desist, after publishing one small number.” We hope to see this, or some similar undertaking, resumed at a future day.
The population of Madeira is calculated at about 116,000, and
and the chile former is not latter may offer sotho
in the format is wine
seriusible exos Island
the English residents and visitors together generally number 600 during the winter season. Last year the visitors amounted to 380, of whom nearly one-third were invalids. The extent of the island is said to be 45 miles long, 15 miles broad, and 100 miles in circumference; and the altitude of its highest mountain, Pico Ruivo, as calculated by Mr. Bowditch, 6164 feet, and by Lieutenant Wilkes 6237. Funchal, the chief town, is situated in 32° 38' 11" north latitude, and in 16° 54' 11" west of Greenwich, being 360 miles north-west of the coast of Africa, and 240 from Teneriffe. Corn is imported from Sicily and other Mediterranean ports; and the chief export is wine. Tobacco and soap are royal monopolies: the former is not allowed to be cultivated on the island ; the scarcity of the latter may offer some plausible excuse for the extreme dirtiness of the Portuguese, who seldom soil their faces with water, but substitute dry rubbing instead.
Madeira wine has unjustly fallen into disrepute, for some years past, in this country. I say unjustly, because I believe that pure old south-side Madeira is one of the finest and most wholesome of all white wines. What the cause of this may be, it is difficult to say; perhaps it was and is the great scarcity of the article such as I describe ; many, however, ascribe it to the fact of wines of an inferior quality having been exported largely for the English market some years ago, on which the article necessarily fell in public estimation. I am inclined to think that fashion exercised no small influence in the matter. To many invalids it is a wine particularly adapted, although in diseases of the chest, when a wine becomes necessary, or from circumstances unavoidable, I am bound to give the preference to white Lachrymæ Christi, as possessing less stimulating and more nutritious qualities than any other I am acquainted with. Yet, for the generality of patients to whom wine is ordered as a tonic or cordial, I feel assured that good Madeira will be found, on trial, most grateful.
Besides the ordinary Madeira, we have here that most delicious sweet wine, the Malmsey ; also the Sercial, or Madeirian Hock; Tinta, the Burgundy; and Bual, a light white wine, of a charming flavour ; as well as Verdelho and Bastardo, also white wines, and Negrinho, of a claret colour and delightful bouquet, together with several country wines, both white and red, of little note, and never exported. The total produce of the island is said to
be from 25,000 to 30,000 pipes annually, but much of this is of a very inferior quality.*
On visiting the governor, I was astonished at seeing a large painting decorating his hall, the subject of which was the discovery of the island by an Englishman. “It is an old tale and often told,” yet I cannot forbear mentioning it here as related by Alcaforado. In the reign of Edward III. when the feudal system held unlimited sway in England, and when the line of demarcation between the grades even of nobility was marked and maintained with the strongest hand, Robert Machim, a noble of the second degree, became enamoured of the daughter of a noble of superior rank, Anna D'Arfert, who warmly returned his affection. This was soon made known to the lady's haughty father, whose rage thereon knew no bounds. Upon some slight pretext he had the unfortunate lover cast into a dungeon for his presumption; and, while he remained in captivity, the fair and disconsolate Anna was forcibly married to a noble of her own rank, who resided near Bristol. The union proved, as such have ever done, most unhappy. Machim was released, and soon discovered the situation of his still loved mistress ; and his faithful friend and squire contrived to have himself hired as groom in the establishment, where he soon found means of informing the Lady Anna that her lover was in the vicinity, and that means were using to get her out of the castle. Their plans succeeded, and she joined him. A vessel was prepared to carry them to France—all was ready—but before the pilot came on board, a violent storm arose, she broke from her moorings, and was carried westward. After twelve days of suffering, they discovered an island, which proved to be Madeira, so named from its being then completely covered with wood; and
* Besides the wine generally known as Madeira, there is shipped in the usual course of business, Tinta, Sercial, and Malmsey; but the other kinds are of rare acquisition, and seldom to be obtained pure, owing to the very minute division of the vineyards not producing a sufficiency of the respective grapes to press separately, or the non-agreement between the landlord and tenant to separate the grapes for the press when the vineyards are more extensive, the produce being divided between the proprietor and cultivator of the soil. It is usual to press all the varieties of the grapes together ; and therefore, to keep separate the Bual, Verdelho, and Negrinho grape, becomes a matter of difficulty.
they landed at a village which has ever since borne the name of Machico. They had scarcely landed when the elements again conspired against them, another storm arose, and tearing the vessel from the coast, drove her across the surging waters, and finally threw her on the coast of Morocco, where she was dashed to pieces, the remnant of the unfortunate crew who had remained in the ship being made prisoners, and forced into slavery.
The hapless Anna, seeing all hope fled, fell ill, and in a day or two died in the arms of him who ought to have been her husband. This is the scene represented in the picture. He shortly after followed her to the grave, and both were enclosed under one green sod, over which was placed, by their companions, a large cedar cross, with a rudely carved inscription, praying of the next Christians who visited that spot to erect a church to their memory.
The remaining part of the crew took to the long boat, which had been preserved, and were also driven on the coast of Morocco, and sold as slaves. It was in virtue of the information derived from those men, that the island was made known to the Portuguese, who sent out an expedition in search of it in 1419, under the distinguished navigators Zargo and Vaz.
The village of Machico is one of the most romantic spots in the island, and its old church is rendered still more interesting by a piece of the cedar cross which is shown, and said to have been that placed over the grave of the unfortunate Lady Anna and her lover. This little romance, so fraught with interest, is not only true in itself, but affords a picture of life even in the present day. The love story of this Lady Anna is not now without its parallels; yet, though that “ bridge of sighs” may be, and is, crossed by thousands, I greatly fear that we must now look for such purity and devotion amidst the fossil remains that mark the age of chivalry and romance, a leaf from whose chronicles is sometimes torn out, to wrap around the Smithfield huxtery of this age of Mammon, when female human flesh can be bought and sold, as well in the lordly halls of England, as in the slave markets of the east.
Before our departure we visited the convents to procure some of the beautiful artificial flowers, made from feathers by the nuns. No ship ever touches here, without carrying away large quantities of this most ingenious and elegant manufacture, as well as ornaments in wax, dried citron, for which Madeira has long been cele
brated, Guava jellies, Cape gooseberries, and other sweet-meats, which are purchased at the convents.
These flowers possess colours that vie with the brightest of the originals ; and, when so ordered, are constructed with an accuracy that leaves nothing to be desired by the most fastidious botanist. Besides these, one of the convents has a further attraction, in the fair person of one of its nuns, Maria Clementina, the fair recluse of Santa Clara.
Few strangers that come to Madeira but visit the nun that so captivated Coleridge, and whose sad history every one here is acquainted with. It is short but eventful—how eventful to the life of woman! The parents of Maria resided in the island; she was the youngest and fairest of several daughters, and, like Cinderella of old, suffered from the envy and unkindness of her less lovely sisters, and though without the aid of any good fairy to turn a pumpkin into a coach and six, and a rat into a coachman, some old and rich relative, pitying her unhappiness, left her a handsome fortune. This, instead of removing, increased her misery, and, to fly the wretchedness of her heartless home, she yielded to the urgings of her unnatural kindred, and took the veil while still almost a child. Long time had not elapsed till the constitution was proclaimed in Portugal, and an order of the Cortes arrived permitting all nuns who chose to leave their convents and to marry. Many of the recluses availed themselves of the privilege, and again mixed in the society of Funchal ; and amidst that gay and elegant assemblage, none was more admired than Maria. Graceful, beautiful, and young, for she was only eighteen, she could not long remain without suitors. She had many; and though it is said the sisterhood leave outside their convent walls, the world, its follies and its cares—its joys and its sorrows-the ties of kindred, and the affections of the heart—yet there were many whose natural feelings were not dead, but only slept, and now, freed from the yoke of religious despotism, the vine-like properties of fair woman's heart would (as might be expected) soon find some object round which to twine the tendrils of its new-born affections. A young officer, then quartered in Madeira, wooed and won the heart of this daughter of the “pride of the Atlantic.” It was soon known that they were to be united, and all looked with an approving smile on their approaching nuptials. To the maiden all was joy, sunshine, and felicity; and